Brakes Plus Credit Card: Good in a Pinch, Otherwise Skip It
Recommended in specific cases. Use the Brakes Plus Credit Card very cautiously. Requires special attention to on-time payments to avoid very high APR and/or fees. If you need to pay for a large auto repair or maintenance bill right now, but don’t have another way to pay, this can provide a stop gap.
Pros and Cons: Brakes Plus Credit Card
Effectively a temporary 0% interest loan for auto repair if used correctly (make monthly minimum payments and payoff full balance during the promo period. 6 months promotional 0% financing for purchase $199-$749.99 and 12 months for $750+
No Annual fee
They claim they will give a credit approval decision within minutes
Reputable issuer (Synchrony Bank)
Very high APR – 29.99%+ – like most store co-brand cards. Be careful to pay off your bill fully each month
Only works in the U.S.
Brakes Plus Credit Card Executive Summary: Only use in a car repair emergency
Brakes Plus is a credit card for clients of Brakes Plus: Complete Auto Service, which is a national chain of car repair shops. If you have no other way to pay and urgently need to repair your car, it could be an option.
The card essentially gives you a short interest-free loan – assuming you still make your minimum monthly payments on time (the amount will vary with the balance you put on the card) and pay the full balance within the promotional period.
You can get 6 months of promotional financing (meaning you pay no interest and only have to make the minimum monthly payments) for purchases on the card is between $199 – $749.99 and 12 months of promotional financing for purchases over $750.
There are no rewards or cash back on this card! The only real feature or benefit is promotional financing for auto repair and maintenance bills you need to pay right now.
Our Overall Recommendation
Recommended only if you need to make a large ($250+) car repair payment quickly, don’t have another means of paying, and live near a Brakes Plus location. It’s not very helpful in other contexts.
If you live in a state without Brakes Plus, another similar option is the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card itself. The Brakes Plus Credit Card is really just a co-brand version of the Synchrony Credit Card.
The features and benefits are the same and it’s still offered through Synchrony Bank.
But check our detailed review to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of this card.
Let’s get into all the details ⏩
What is the Brakes Plus Credit Card?
Let’s check it out
The Brakes Plus Credit Card is a credit card issued by Synchrony Bank, a large financial services company that issues hundreds of co-brand credit cards like this one.
The card’s purpose is to help you pay for emergency auto repairs or car maintenance care. The card’s chief benefit is its special financing, which works as follows:
- 6-month special financing on purchases between $199 to $749
- 12-month special financing on purchases over $750
With car repair costs in these ranges, you can pay over time with interest-free installments as long as you pay the minimum monthly payments (amount depends on balance) and also the full balance within the allotted time frame (6 or 12 months).
While this can be and often is helpful, be cautious since if you do not make those monthly minimum payments and pay off the full balance during the promotional period, this card’s 29% interest rate means that you pay far more than initially anticipated.
Note that car washes, gas, and other purchases do not receive consideration for special financing. If you put these purchases on this card and don’t pay the balance off in full each month, they will accrue interest. This contrasts sharply with many credit cards which actually offer higher rewards rates than their baseline on gas purchases.
Where can you use the Brakes Plus Credit Card?
Where can you use the Brakes Plus Credit Card?
Compared to most credit cards, its range is severely limited, as it is only accepted at locations where the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card is accepted. If you plan to use it, make sure the auto shop you’re planning to go to accepts this card first.
Though it is an offshoot of the Synchrony Car Care Card, the Brakes Plus Credit Card is meant to help Brakes Plus customers. That specification makes this car care credit card regionally limited to a few states, even though all Synchrony Car Care locations accept it.
To see a complete list of where this card is accepted and if there are eligible locations near you, you can check on Synchrony’s site.
Final Thoughts on the Brakes Plus Credit Card
There is one particular use for the Brakes Plus Credit Card, which is if you have to pay for a major car repair right now, but don’t have another way to pay.
But we would only recommend it if you have a location of this chain near you. If you live in another part of the country, you can use the Synchrony Car Care Credit card, which we may even recommend if you live near a Brakes Plus.
Otherwise, definitely skip this card!
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